Register Sunday | June 16 | 2019

01 is the Coldest Number

(Or, I Hate January)

Last week, Dave and I moved into the sort of apartment lived in by young professionals our age. This means that we now have to go tromping around through the miserable cold in order to buy things like handsome lamps, energy-efficient light bulbs and a shower curtain. It also means that we're shelling out a mortgage payment's worth of rent every month, leaving us approximately broke just as our two-year wedding anniversary approaches.

We're not too keen on celebrating the wedding event itself, since it was traumatic and half-assed-just like our recent move and, let's be honest, most important undertakings when we're in charge of them. But the general miracle of finding and keeping one another is worth a trip to Hawaii, yes? Not to mention more boring miracles like finding the sidewalk under the snow and staying alive in the cold. We could fly to paradise and call it an anniversary getaway, or an earned treat, or a vitamin D deficiency cure. Call it whatever you want. Just get me away.

A billboard beside a highway on-ramp told me that we could get to Hawaii for $399 one-way per person. It's a seductive number. And though I didn't bother checking out that particular travel agency's website, I was immediately taken with the idea.

A billboard beside a highway on-ramp told me that we could get to Hawaii for $399 one-way per person. It's a seductive number. And though I didn't bother checking out that particular travel agency's website (since I was pretty certain I wouldn't like the terms of the price), I was immediately taken with the idea. Hawaii is warm, it's a state I've never seen, and it's THREE NINETY-NINE! Dollars! Clearly it's my expat American duty to go there, drink many drinks and eat entire pineapples while reinforcing the grody legacy of colonialism. I check out both ends of the travel-style spectrum: the local Ritz-Carlton and Lonely Planet's World Guide. One is too expensive and, considering the standard of accommodations, so is the other. Since the search parameters at Travelocity are conducive to specific-as opposed to hypothetical-travel, I check out Expedia, which informs me that an anniversary trip would cost more like $8,000. EIGHT ZERO ZERO ZERO. Dollars!

Many of my co-workers and acquaintances-about-town currently have medically devastating sunburns-which in Toronto are called "tans"-courtesy of all-inclusive weekends in Cuba or some other Caribbean destination. You know them, the kinds of trips advertised on the one-sheets that roll through the fax machine at the office every morning, or over to the right there, in the Google text ads. The price is right, but I don't know if I would find that kind of vacation very relaxing. I can clearly see Dave and I pondering the environmental ruin caused by resorts and the uncertainty of the ice cubes bobbing in our fruity drinks as we sit by the pool behind a colossal fence. If our romantic vacation is going to end in disease, I want to come back with three new languages, a proper tan and an AIDS orphan on my hip.

Hawaii will have to wait until the shower curtain is paid for.

My heavy-duty crush-from-afar on Africa is not totally shared by my colleague. Dave rightly fears that all this will indeed come to pass, and cost as much as two Hawaiian vacations-without the signature treatments. But maybe if Bob Marley's remains are reinterred in his spiritual home, demand for flights to Addis Ababa will increase, getting us there faster than my Air Miles. I'm buying as many bottles of "bonus Miles" booze at the LCBO as I can, but at the moment, it looks like we'll be hitting our fiftieth anniversary before we can try to heist the Ark of the Covenant.

More likely than any of this is that we'll end up slipping $50 to a tanning-salon attendant in order to have two beds together. We'll link hands as we farm our skin cancers. Later, we'll bicker over the lidocaine burn-relief gel while watching Discovery Channel programs about luxurious spa treatments performed on average-looking women. Hawaii will have to wait until the shower curtain is paid for.

David and Vanessa currently live and toil in Toronto-for, respectively, a large technology corporation and a large eCommerce vendor. They met via their blogs and were married in the winter of 2002. They have a hamster and two dogs, but no yacht.